[NFBC-Info] Perspectives: The Newsletter of Stanford's Assistive Technology Course - Field Trip to the Magical Bridge Playground

David L Jaffe dljaffe at stanford.edu
Mon Feb 28 00:15:45 UTC 2022

View this newsletter in your browser<http://web.stanford.edu/class/engr110/Newsletter/lecture09a-2022.html>
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Design, Technology , and Engineering benefitting individuals with disabilities and older adults in the local community
February 27, 2022
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Perspectives is the newsletter of the Stanford course,
Perspectives in Assistive Technology.

Field Trip to the Magical Bridge Playground (at the Playground)

This issue announces the next class session (at the Magical Bridge Playground).

Perspectives in Assistive Technology is a Winter Quarter Stanford course - now in its sixteenth year - that explores the design, development, and use of assistive technology that benefits people with disabilities and older adults. It consists of semi-weekly in-person discussions; lectures by notable professionals, clinicians, and assistive technology users; a tour of an accessible inclusive playground; student project presentations and demonstrations; and an Assistive Technology Faire.

Next Class Session (at the Magical Bridge Playground) - Tuesday, March 1st at 4:00pm PST

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Field Trip to the Magical Bridge Playground
Olenka Villarreal
Founder and CEO of the Magical Bridge Playground

Everybody is welcome to attend! Here is a map<https://www.google.com/maps/@37.4217926,-122.1129514,18z> of the playground in Palo Alto's Mitchell Park. Meet at Ada's Cafe.

Abstract: Despite the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is astounding that most playground designs still fail to consider the 1 in every 4 of us living with a visible or invisible disability today. A park outing with her whole family was behind Olenka's vision to create a new kind of playground, so she could play with both her daughters who had very different needs. The urgent need to create playgrounds that would (far) surpass ADA standards was the drive behind the creation of the Magical Bridge Playground<http://www.magicalbridge.org> whose goal was to bridge the gap between those with and without disabilities in a most magical way! Olenka and a team of volunteers raised over $4M to make the first Magical Bridge Playground a reality in Palo Alto's Mitchell Park. After opening in June 2015, it received worldwide recognition as the "nation's most innovative inclusive playground" and was even featured at the 2019 Davos World Economic Forum. Due to demand for more like it, Magical Bridge Foundation was created in 2016 and there are now 12 Magical Bridge destination playgrounds under way locally and around the world. In addition to the magical spaces they create, the foundation provides truly inclusive multigenerational programs for every "body" to enjoy - both on and off the playgrounds.

Biosketch: With an undergraduate degree from Pomona College and MBA from Golden Gate University, Olenka Villarreal spent 18 years working with start-up and technology companies in Silicon Valley. When her second daughter was born with disabilities in 2003, she turned her focus on improving the quality of life of those with disabilities. Olenka serves on various boards, including for AbilityPath<http://www.abilitypath.org> and Life Services Alternatives<https://www.lsahomes.org>. Olenka has received recognition and awards for her pioneering work on Magical Bridge and holds a few design patents for inclusive playground equipment.

Remaining Class Sessions

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  *   Thursday, March 3rd - Wheelchair Fabrication in Developing Countries<http://web.stanford.edu/class/engr110/lecture09b.html> (by Zoom)
  *   Tuesday, March 8th - End-of-term Student Team Project Presentations<http://web.stanford.edu/class/engr110/lecture10a.html>
  *   Thursday, March 10th - Student Project Demonstrations, Course Evaluation, and Celebration<http://web.stanford.edu/class/engr110/lecture10b.html>

Please contact me with your ideas, questions, comments, and project suggestions - or just to say hello. Please continue to stay safe & healthy.

Dave Jaffe - Course Instructor

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